It's also a day of list-making.
I make four lists and, after I'm certain they're complete, I burn them, sending all my hopes, dreams, good wishes, and gratitude out into the Universe.
My first list is everything I'm grateful for. I love this list. It's a long one and it always (always) begins with Ryan and Sundance (and this year, with Rue and Pip, the fuzzy, feline additions to our family). It covers big things, like friends and family, work and home, as well as little things, like books and rain and the park and tea (OK, so none of those things are little). And let me tell you, when you list out everything you're grateful for - everything you love - you realize just how damned lucky you are.
The second list is things I wish for others. Of course, I always wish good things for the people I love and those I'm close to, but the real key to this list is that I must wish good things for people I don't love so much. Or even like. Or have a strong desire to smack upside the head regularly. Or people who have hurt me, in both small ways and big. Though you might think otherwise, it's, surprisingly, not-so-hard to do. It forces me to see people in a light other than the one that shines down on them in my day-to-day thoughts of them; it forces me to be kinder than I might want to be. And that? Is a good thing.
My third list is things I want to let go of. I hold on to a fair bit of negativity, most of which is directed at myself. By writing down the things I want to release, I first have to acknowledge them directly. I have to admit that I hang on to ideas and beliefs that aren't good for me (and might not even be true). And then I have to give deliberate thought - effort - to not doing that anymore. And I've found something really interesting... even though I've written many of the same things down year after year, my grip on several of them is lessening. My belief is wavering. I'm actually letting them go. Slowly, yes, but Life is a process, no?
The last list is things I want to invite into my life. This is a selfish list, but I think it's an important one. I think we get what we give, so when I write down the things I want (which are never, by the way, things), I also have to think about how I can put those very things out into the Universe. It forces me to be more mindful of what I'm doing and thinking. If I want good, I must do good. I must be good.
My lists this year were full. They burned brightly and then they were gone, turned to ash and dust, and scattered to the stars.
By the way, you were all there. In both my gratitude and my wishes for others lists.
You always are.
Happy Solstice, my peeps. XOXO